With a car, there comes a point when the benefit you are receiving does not equal the time, effort, and resources you are sinking into to keep it running. You think, if I can just make this last a little longer, I’ll have REALLY gotten my money’s worth, but in reality, that car has already cost you almost double its original value, it’s an eyesore and sometimes leaves you stranded on the side of the road while the rest of the world zooms by.
The same happens with technology.
Today’s Focus: The Cost of Outdated Technology
Crossing your fingers every time you turn the ignition, hoping to not have to call your mechanic, is not a sound plan to ensure you have reliable transportation. On that same note, holding your breath while you power up your computer, praying that today is not the day you’ll have to call IT, AGAIN, is not a sound technology plan.
But this happens a lot. People often see technology as a burden, a burden that many businesses hate shelling out money for, which leads to refusing to replace outdated equipment until it literally lights on fire. We kid you not – we’ve seen things burn!
Outside of not wanting your employees roasting S’mores over your flaming UPS, there are many reasons to not strive for the “antique” license plate for your technology.
The Hidden Costs of Outdated Technology
Obviously, replacing technology costs money. But NOT replacing your technology is also likely costing you, probably more than you realize.
When we think of lost work productivity, what we often envision is our employees playing endless games of solitaire or scrolling through their social media feeds instead of working. But how much time is wasted because of dinosaur-like tech?
You’ve been there, we’re sure; watching minutes tick by as your ancient computer comes to life or drumming your fingers impatiently waiting for things to unfreeze because your laptop can’t reliably support all the programs you have to simultaneously run. But aside from employee workstations, other areas of outdated technology can lead to lost productivity.
Unstable servers that require frequent rebooting have employees standing around chatting waiting for things to be back online. Outdated/unsupported security appliances lead to infected devices and networks. Old wireless devices, aging printers, failing UPS units … when technology pauses, we all pause.
Every day we hear about companies being breached, data being stolen, or ransomware halting operations. And obviously, halting operations (not to mention having to PAY bad people in order to unlock data that belongs to you) is going to cost your business.
It used to be that anti-virus software was the technology end-all-be-all, but the same could also be said of the floppy disk. Times change and so must your technology. Not every threat can be mitigated by updated technology, but the probability of a breach is a lot higher when what is shielding a company is outdated, insufficient, or easily infiltrated.
When people think of data loss, they generally think it’ll be due to those security breaches we just talked about. But what about data loss due to outdated technology?
Once upon a time, a cassette tape was how you recorded things. These days, many of us are standing here holding our Sweatin’ to the Oldies VHS tapes with no way of reliving the wonder that was Richard Simmons without our VCRs. Why? Because that way of storing things has gone the way of the T-Rex.
If you’re still swapping out physical backup tapes each night on your server or using a CRM tool produced by a company that went defunct during the Clinton Administration, it’s time to make some changes before your data is inaccessible due to outdated formats.
Very few companies like spending money on IT and cringe at the idea of buying new devices or upgrading licensing, but will pay IT support to spend hours repairing a device that is worth less than the cost of the repair. While IT support is a necessity, those costs can be contained with the right IT roadmap. Yes, new equipment, upgraded support, and updated software come at a cost, but it’s often less than the cost to maintain a fleet that hasn’t been relevant in years.
Wait? Aren’t there always upgrade costs? Yes, for sure. But your costs will dramatically increase if what you’re upgrading from is so outdated that additional resources or a massive amount of time is required to make the transition.
While it’s not necessary to color-coordinate all your technology equipment simply to impress people, there is an element of perception that does come into play. If your customers see your staff working on equipment that is old-school, they may assume your way of conducting business is the same and go on to a more innovative company. If they call and always end up chatting with your receptionist while he waits for his computer to respond, “because it’s a Monday,” customers will get frustrated and eventually determine their time is too valuable to always be waiting.
It’s Time to Map Things Out
Without a doubt, outdated technology can cost a business. But technology can also be very expensive. So what do you do?
You develop an IT Roadmap.
Just like trusty Google Maps (notice we didn’t say Yahoo! Maps, cause, well, they’re outdated) will get you where you need to go on the road, an IT Roadmap can get your business to where it needs to be on the technology front. Your plan should cover what you currently have, what you’ll need moving forward and how to budget to make your needs (and maybe even some wants) a reality.
So, grab a coffee with your trusted IT provider, get ready to analyze and strategize, and join us for our next blog to begin laying the groundwork for your IT roadmap. It’s time to replace the Studebaker.